NIHONMONODiscovering Japan [Nihon] through authentic craftsmanship [Honmono]

Vegetables growing in soil with bacteria ”Tagayasu Club”

Vegetables growing in soil with bacteria
”Tagayasu Club”

The power of bacteria in soil making

”Plants grow completely differently depending on the amount of bacteria in the soil.”
Kanichi Saito, who has more than 20 years experience in organic farming told us.
He is so famous that his name is known to everyone who is in organic farming. In order for the microorganisms to be active, on his farm, he makes his own soil using uniquely formulated rice compost from organic rice bran, fallen leaves and cow dung.

Since the soil is cultivated by microorganisms, it is soft without having to use tractors.
When you stab the soil with a stick, it goes in nearly 2 meters. That is how soft the soil is.
When shown this, Nakata exclaimed ”This is amazing!”.

You could feel autumn approaching in Saito’s field, with vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, Chinese water spinach, okura and carrots.
”In the summer, you can’t win over the insects. But the roots grow inside the soil, so even though the leaves are eaten by insects, it’s not a problem. New buds will grow if you cut the leaves, making vegetables full of mineral and energy.The roots will also grow spread out, so even without fertilizer, they grow healthy and strong. ”
In the taro fields, we noticed a large caterpillar on a large leaf.
”Oh, you are right. The caterpillar is enjoying the leaf. ”

The fertility of the soil affects the taste

”Normally, farmers use additional fertilizer to stimulate growth, but we don’t do that either. If there is too much nitrogen, the vegetables become lanky. We stick to the idea of increasing the fertility of the soil.”
”In order to do that, especially if you use this method, you have to see it through by selling on your own produce.”
”That is true. The consumers in Tokyo come on buses to my farm for events like harvesting vegetables experiences and barbeques. You can’t see the sunset in Tokyo because it’s hidden behind the buildings, but you can see it beautifully here. ”

Among the vegetables which Saito makes, one that is getting the most attention now is a carrot called ”Hitomi Gosun”.
It is very soft, and breaks easily during shipping. Since it is difficult to handle, it is a rare carrot which is ”not distributed on the market.”
It has a refreshing sweetness like fruit, and is recommended for making fresh 100% Hitomi Gosun juice.

The vegetables in Saito’s fields have the genuine taste of good ingredients. They have great taste. They can even be eaten raw as an accompaniment for ”sake”.
This is the unique taste of the vegetables Saito creates – a product of someone who deeply loves soil.

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Tagayasu Club Kanichi Saito
689 Yokota, Sanmu, Chiba